Odors Coming from a Septic Tank

Odors coming from a septic tank can be the cause of several different issues. One of the more common problems causing septic tank odors is that the system is in need of pumping. Solid waste can build up in the system and cause backups, drain field leaching problems and strong septic tank odors.

If you have odors coming from a septic tank the first thing you should do is contact your local pumping company and have the system pumped. Most septic systems require pumping every 3 to 4 years. The frequency of pumping is determined by the amount of solid waste generated by the home. Example: If a home is designed for a family of four and there are 10 people living in the home. The septic tank will require more frequent pump outs.

When the septic pumping company comes to pump out your septic tank, make sure that you pay attention to the process. When the driver is finished pumping out the system, listen for water running back into the tank from the drain field. If you can hear water dripping back into the septic tank, it is a sure sign the drain field section of your system is failing. The water is unable to drain into the ground and is therefore back flowing into the septic tank. You should hear silence when the pumper is finished and not the sound of trickling water.

Clogged or missing septic tank vents can cause toxic gas to push up into your home causing sewer odors. Septic vents can become clogged with bee hives or never replaced in the event of remodeling or replacement of a roof.

Another common problem with septic systems is bacteria count. The systems are designed to digest solid waste generated by the home. Coli form bacteria produced by the human body is the tool that makes the process all possible. When fats, oils, greases, anti bacterial soaps and cleaning chemicals are dumped into the system, the coli form bacteria counts are reduced to a point that the digestion process is compromised. Solids that are normally digested into effluent are now flowing out into the drain field where they form a bio mat or sludge clogging the drain field and compromising the system.

Never add anything to a septic tank other that a septic tank bacterial treatment. Proper maintenance and periodic inspection of a septic system will extend the life of your system giving you the home owner years of problem free service.

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